Board of Deputies President Marie van der Zyl has criticised the decision of the International Criminal Court to open an investigation into alleged war crimes by the Israelis.
Marie said: “The decision made by ICC Chief Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda yesterday to open a formal investigation into “alleged war crimes in the Palestinian Territories” goes to show the increasing moral bankruptcy of international courts. We note that despite the ICC’s claims to be investigating the actions of both Israel and Hamas, the timeline of their investigation begins on 13 June 2014, a day after Hamas kidnapped and murdered three Israeli teenagers, the action which led to the 2014 war. This shows that the investigation is utterly compromised from the beginning. We also note Ms Bensouda’s apparent decision to ignore the highly critical dissenting opinion of the pre-trial’s Presiding Judge, who highlighted that the decision of his fellows ‘has no legal basis in the Rome Statute, and even less so, in international law’.
“Pursuing this investigation will only further polarise Israelis and Palestinians. It is our hope that Israelis and Palestinians can come together through direct negotiations – as it is only through this means that the conflict will be resolved and a lasting peace forged between peoples.”